Growing up as a child of the 90s, plus a Disney lover, I’ve seen about every single movie “meet-cute” you can think of. The dog leashes getting twisted at the park, getting in the same taxi, you name it, I’ve probably seen it. But one that always sort of stood out to me as especially cute was the grocery store meetup.
Maybe it’s because I’m fairly short, so I always thought this was a pretty easy one to make happen. All I had to do was need something on the top shelf that I just couldn’t *quite* meet. Then, a handsome, smart guy would come out of nowhere and grab it for me. Of course, all the times that I have needed to ask someone to grab something for me it’s never been a guy even in my age range that’s available to ask for help. But I remain optimistic.
Recently, I was in Arizona. I was originally planning on just staying in the Phoenix area for a few days and taking a day trip to Sedona (where I really wanted to go). Thanks to my parents, however, I ended up spending a few days in Sedona and then headed to Phoenix. I was excited to get out in nature, have some sun (I was getting a little too pale), recharge my crystals, and mostly, just have some time to myself to think through some decisions I needed to make. Also, I was excited to have a chance to make more positive memories than the last time I was there. Really, I didn’t have any plans or expectations beyond a few things I wanted to experience at some point in both places. Having any kind of romantic entanglement was certainly not high on the priority list.
The day I drove from Sedona to Phoenix, I’d done a really cool yoga and meditation hike (which is exactly what it sounds like). But because of the weather and location, for some of it, we literally sat on the ground. That was in the morning and lasted a few hours. Then, I was in the car for two hours driving. So, I wasn’t exactly camera-ready. But after checking in at my hotel, I wanted to get a few things so that I had some snacks and breakfasts in my room. And wine. I wanted wine.
As I walked down the wine aisle, I hear two guys talking. One of them was asking the other if he knew of any sweet wines. His friend said no, he wasn’t sure. Meanwhile, I was mostly just looking for a wine with a twist top since I don’t know how to use a corkscrew, so I had plenty of time to listen in on their quest for a sweet wine.
Finally, I offered my suggestion when I noticed a wine that I like that happens to be pretty sweet. And me being my overly friendly self, I ended up spending the next few minutes helping the guy who seemed more invested in this hunt find a sweet wine. Meanwhile, he kept an eye out for a red wine with a twist top for me.
Eventually, he found his wine, but I was still looking for mine. But somehow, the wine conversation seemed to be an open invitation to him to linger for a while, so he introduced himself. He gave me two names that weren’t even slightly related and I’m still not sure which was his actual name. Think of him saying something like, “My name is Deacon but you can call me Lee.”
For the purpose of this story, we’ll go with Lee.
He tried to shake my hand but I said no because I’d been traveling and just wanted to be respectful towards his health. This was true, but also I feel like I just haven’t had human contact with strangers in so long I was caught off-guard. But, he understood. He asked me where I’d flown in from, I said Atlanta (which was true). Then, why I was in Arizona, I said some friends and I were getting together for one of their birthdays (which was not true) and I was in charge of getting some things for the first night. I was NOT about to tell some guy I didn’t know that I was traveling alone.
Eventually, as it always happens, he asked for my number. And as usual, I gave him my fake one. He finally walked away to find his friend and I timed my exit from the grocery store perfectly. I had noticed that he’d already texted me, but I don’t text and drive. Plus, I wanted to wait until I was back and settled in the hotel before I answered.
When I did answer an hour or two later, he said he thought that I was already ghosting him. Great. Y’all know how much I love a guy who can’t handle if a girl doesn’t immediately respond. Then he asked how I’m single, because I seem like a “beautiful, intelligent, ambitious girl.” Which is true. But I’d forgotten that I mentioned something to him about looking at law schools, so it kind of creeped me out at first that he somehow knew all of this. But points for the compliment regardless.
Lee started trying to hang out VERY quickly. Which, I get, because he’s also not from Arizona. He actually lives in California, but he’s a personal trainer (what is it with me and personal trainers??) and has some clients in the area that he comes out to visit. But Lee was with friends. Obviously, I couldn’t hang out with them when I said I was also with a group but actually didn’t know anyone out there. At least not that wanted to hang out with me. The first night, I said we were just chilling at the hotel. He asked what the plans for the weekend were and I said it was up the birthday girl.
Over the weekend, Lee just did NOT get that I wasn’t interested. Maybe I shouldn’t have given him my number if I wasn’t interested. But at the time I did think it might be nice to make a friend while I was out there. Plus it just wasn’t a super comfortable position to be in and say no. But Lee kept saying that he just “wanted to have fun.” So it became pretty clear to me why he was so insistent on hanging out. Like, calling me four times in a row kind of insistent. And that’s just not my style.
The next night, I had plans to go out to dinner. But, the place I chose had a super long wait so I went back to my hotel. When he asked what we were doing, I just said we had dinner plans but might go out later. Then I ignored his texts for the rest of the night because he kept asking me if we wanted to pregame with them. I haven’t pregamed since college, so at this point I started to question how old he was.
The next day, I told him we weren’t huge club people and that we were more dinner people. Then he sort of invited himself to our next dinner in a roundabout way, so I knew to avoid that topic for the rest of the day. He did ask me some questions about myself, which was nice I guess. I did learn that we are the same age, but he kept using the wrong “your/you’re” form. That’s a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I managed to avoid the going-out topic in that conversation, which again you’d think he’d have taken as a signal. But no.
I had already decided to extend my stay, but no way was I telling him that. As far as he knew, I was leaving Monday so on Sunday, he was REALLY trying to get together. At this point, I asked some friends on Instagram which approach I should take – honest truth that I just wasn’t interested in hanging out, or honest truth that I’m super into crystals and energies and had to do my full moon ritual that night. They chose the second option.
So I told him that my friends and I had to get ready for the full moon that evening. I thought about milking it more and mentioning a sacrifice or something really weird – one of my friends suggested I say we were hoping for better harvests, I was thinking saying that we’d also be manifesting fertility – but I decided to leave it as a vague “are they a witch coven or just weird?” interpretation.
I thought that would be it. But no. Later that day, he responded asking me what the ritual was. I told him, and STILL not getting it. He asked me if we could talk more about it. At that, I just stopped responding. If you’re not going to get the picture, not my problem. I really thought that the “she might be a witch” stuff would do it, but Lee was determined.
At least I learned that grocery store meetings are possible, though. And that I’ve still got it even when wearing dirt colored pants and smelling like a rental car. My friends are all in agreement that I’m the only person they know who’d go to a grocery store in a completely different state and meet a guy who asked for my number, and then have to pretend to be in a witch coven to get rid of. I think that’s accurate. It looks like the Universe isn’t quite done with giving me blog material just yet.
But to end on a happy note, I did finally release a lot of the stagnant energy and hurt and feelings I was still holding onto from my experience last year while I was there, and I finally feel like I’ve learned all the lessons I was meant to learn from that. My friend said that when that happens, it means the Universe is getting ready to send someone new into your life and that it’ll be a positive experience… so who knows, hopefully one of my next few posts will be about the grocery store meet-cute that I really want.